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Confederate Soldier in the Ranks
Ma j. -Gen. D. H. Hill
Canitjet0itp of JSortl) Carolina
Collection of jRort& Carolinians
Mn §>prtmt OT
of ti)e ©lass of 1839
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
Major-General- D. H. Hill,
OF NORTH CAROLINA, i* %
BEFORE THE VIRGINIA DIVISION OF THE ASSOCIATION
OF THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
ON THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 22D, 1885.
ALSO SOME ACCOUNT OF THE BANQUET, INCLUDING THE
RESPONSE OF THE HON. D. B. LUCAS, OF WEST
VIRGINIA, TO THE TOAST " OUR DEAD."
Published by Order of the Association.
WM. ELLIS JONES, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.
Association of the Army of Northern Virginia,
WM. H. F. LEE, - President
BRADLEY T. JOHNSON, - - Vice-President
RO. S. BOSHER, - Treasurer.
CARLTON MCCARTHY, - - - Secretary.
Col. WM. H. PALMER, Maj. WALTER K. MARTIN,
Maj. THOS. A. BRANDER, Maj. ROBERT STILES.
Judge GEO. L. CHRISTIAN,
Rev. J. WM. JONES, D. D., - - Chaplain.
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
Major- General D. H. Hill,
OF NORTH CAROLINA,
BEFORE THE VIRGINIA DIVISION OF THE ASSOCIATION
OF THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
ON THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 22D, 1885.
ALSO SOME ACCOUNT OF THE BANQUET, INCLUDING THE
RESPONSE OF THE HON. D. B. LUCAS, OF WEST
VIRGINIA TO THE TOAST "OUR DEAD."
Published by Order of the Association.
WM. ELLIS JONES, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
Go ^io. 7C
THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER IN THE RANKS.
AN ADDRESS '
Major-General D. H. Hill, C. S. A.
OF NORTH CAROLINA.
General Lee introduced as orator of the evening, General D. H.
Hill, in the following graceful words, which were heartily applauded :
" I have the honor, ladies and gentlemen, to introduce to you as
our orator of the evening one of the famous Captains of the gallant
Army of Northern Virginia, whose name and fame is interwoven
with its history. It is especially pleasing to Virginians to greet this
distinguished soldier, not only on account of his own great merits,
being known as among the bravest of its Generals, but also because
he comes from our sister State of North Carolina, whose gallant sons
poured out their blood so freely on Virginia's soil in defence of con-
General Hill was received with deafening applause, and stood for
some minutes before he could proceed.
ADDRESS OF GENERAL D. H. HILL.
Soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is meet and proper that the Association of the veterans of the
noblest, truest and bravest army that the sun ever shone upon, should
assemble in the Capital of the late Confederacy. It is eminently
fitting, too, that it should meet in the Capital of Virginia, since its
name and fame are inseparably associated with three illustrious Vir-
ginians. It was a Virginian who first organized it and sent it upon
4 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
its wonderful career of victory ; it was a Virginian, who, at its head,
held at bay for three years the army recruited from the four quar-
ters of the globe, and who, with ever-decreasing forces, fought the
world in arms; it was a Virginian, who, with portions of this famous
army made those stealthy marches to the rear and struck those ter-
rible blows, which so astonished the world. We remember that it
was a Virginian, whose eloquence most fired the hearts of the Colo-
nists against British aggression ; that it was a Virginian, who moved
in that Continental Congress for a declaration of independence; that
it was a Virginian who wrote that declaration; that it was a Vir-
ginian, who led the armies of the rebellion against Great Britain ;
that it was a Virginian, who so expounded the principles of the Con-
stitution as to make that instrument acceptable to the American peo-
ple ; that it was a Virginian who presided over the court established
under that Constitution with such ability and impartiality that he is
to-day regarded as the wisest, greatest and purest of the Chief Jus-
tices of the United States. We remember with great pride that one-
half of the life of the nation from Washington to Lincoln — thirty-six
of the seventy-two years — was passed under the administration of Vir-
ginia Presidents. We remember with reverential awe, the father of
his country, the Virginia-born Washington, of whom Wellington
said that he was the grandest and sublimest, and yet the plainest and
simplest character in history. Concerning whom Byron made the
pathetic lament that the earth had no more seed to produce another
like unto him.
But, though, from the settlement at Jamestown to the present hour,
proud memories and glorious traditions cluster around the beautiful
women and illustrious men of Virginia, I honestly believe that the
most heroic portion of her history is from 1861 to 1865, when she so
grandly bared her bosom to the hostile blow, and bore with such
sublime patience the desolation of her soil and the slaughter of the
noblest and best of her sons. The Army of Northern Virginia !
So let it be ! Let the grand old State and the grand old army bear
the same name, and may their fame be linked together forever and
Others have spoken before your Association of the great battles
and the great leaders of the civil war. Mine be the grateful task
to talk of the unknown and unheralded private in the ranks. The
picture of him rises before you all — the keen, patient, quizzical,
devil-may-care face, the brimless slouch hat, the fragment of a coat,
the ragged breeches, the raw-hide shoes, unless some lucky find on
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 5
the battlefield had given better foot-gear (and Johnny always was par-
ticular about his under-pinning). When he had his trusty rifle and
well-filled cartridge box, he considered himself splendidly clad with
half a uniform and a whole pair of shoes. He was self-reliant
always, obedient when he chose to be, impatient of drill and dis-
cipline, critical of great movements and small movements, the con-
duct of the highest and lowest officers, from Mars Robert down to
the new-fledged lieutenant. He was proud of his regiment, scornful
of odds, uncomplaining of fatigue, ungrumbling at short rations,
full of strange drollery and mockery at suffering.
Such was the Confederate soldier between '61 and '62. before
battle and disease had swept away the flower of the Southern youth.
He had the elan of the Frenchman, the rollicking humor of the
Irishman, the steadfastness of the Englishman or German, and the
dogged perseverance of the Scotchman. He was ready to charge a
battery with the wild Rebel yell or to receive a charge with the im-
perturbable calmness of Wellington's veterans at Waterloo. He had
the best characteristics of the best fighters of the best races of the
whole earth. The independence of a country life, hunting, fishing
and the mastery of slaves, gave him large individuality and immense
trust in himself. Hence he was unsurpassed and unsurpassable as a
scout and on the skirmish line. Of the shoulder-to-shoulder courage,
born of drill and discipline, he knew nothing, and cared less. Hence,
on the battlefield, he was more of a free lance than a machine. Who-
ever saw a Confederate line advancing that was not crooked as a
ram's horn? Each ragged Rebel yelling on his own hook and align-
ing on himself.
But there is as much need of the machine-soldier as of the self-
reliant soldier, and the concentrated blow is always the most effective
blow. The erratic effort of the Confederate, grand, brilliant and
heroic though it was, yet failed to achieve the maximum result, just
because it was erratic. Moreover, two serious evils attended that
excessive egotism and individuality, which came to the Confederate
through his training, association and habits. He knew when a move-
ment was false and a position was untenable, and he was too little of
a machine to give in such cases that whole-hearted service which
might have redeemed the blunder. The other evil was an ever-
growing one. His disregard of discipline and independence of
character made him often a straggler, and the fruit of many a victory
was lost by straggling. I believe that with his exalted patriotism,
his high sense of honor and his devotion to duty, the Confederate
6 The Confederate Soldier in the Banks.
soldier would have submitted to any just and reasonable discipline
imposed by honest and intelligent officers.
But too many of these officers were looking- for political preferment
after the war to permit a uniform system of government to become
practical and possible. We needed, too, what our enemies had, an
old army, a body of veterans, as a model of obedience, and as a
nucleus for the formation of other troops like unto themselves. We
needed the camps of instruction which our enemies had, the drill
masters, and the months given to training and discipline of their
recruits, while ours had of necessity to be hurried to the front. The
South had rushed into the war absolutely destitute of everything,
save the courage of its people, which makes a military nation. We
had no foundries, no machine shops, no factories, no powder mills,
no roller mills, no paper mills, no means of making tents and camp
equipage. The paper upon which the ordinances of secession of
the respective States were written came from the North ; the ink
and pens with which they were written came from the North. We
had no iron works for casting cannon, no gun factories for small
arms, no establishments to manufacture powder, none in which to
make caps for muskets and rifles. Even after the battle of Manas-
sas the question of returning to the old flint-lock was seriously dis-
cussed. The spinningwheel and the handloom were the chief
dependence for furnishing clothing to the troops. The country tan-
yard and the country cobbler could alone furnish them with shoes.
There was not in all the South a factory for making blankets for the
soldiers, who had to endure the bitter rigors of the winter in the
border States. We had no ships upon the ocean to draw supplies
from abroad, while our enemies could recruit their armies and their
war material from the continents of the whole globe and from the
far off isles of the sea. From first to last, ours was the worst equip-
ped, the worst fed, the worst clothed, and the worst organized army
in the world ; that of our enemy was the best equipped, the best
organized, the best cared for, and the most pampered army of the
nineteenth century. It is the grandest tribute that mortal man can
pay to our soldiery to say that they knew of the tremendous differ-
ence between their condition and that of their foes, and that they were
contemptuous of it. They believed that their courage, their fortitude,
their patience and their devotion to duty, would more than make up
for all deficiencies in organization, equipment, material and numbers.
I will give some examples of these grand characteristics. On the
31st May, 1862, my division attacked the Federal division of General
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 7
Casey, having a pentagonal redoubt in which were ten guns. On
each side of the redoubt were rifle-pits, which could only be reached
by struggling through an abattis of from twenty to one hundred
yards in width. Three Federal batteries in rear had a murderous
fire upon the road and upon all the approaches to the works. The
recent heavy rains had made the ground almost a quagmire. But on
our gallant fellows went floundering through the mud and slush,
wading through water three and four feet deep, scarcely able to ad-
vance, had there been no foe in front. But they were mown down at
every step by cannon shot, shell, grape and canister; they were
mown down by the musketry fire of men calmly awaiting them under
the protection of earthworks and obstructions. On and on went
those nameless heroes of unrecorded graves. The Fourth North
Carolina regiment, with bloody loss, captured a section of artillery in
the road and made way for Carter's battery, which came up to the
relief of our struggling infantry. Now began that awful, that wonder-
ful contest between five guns sinking almost to the axle at every fire
against sixteen guns in position. It was a brief artillery duel, for
Couch's division was coming up in massive columns to the aid of
the sorely pressed Casey, and by my own express order, Carter
turned his fire upon the approaching masses of infantry; every shell
burst in the right place, every solid shot struck in the right place;
the ranks broke and sought shelter in the woods on our right and in
the abattis on our left. There was no farther advance by the Federals
up the Williamsburg road after Carter turned his guns upon their
infantry. All this time the sixteen guns were remorselessly pelting
the five guns of the King William artillery, and his hitherto untried
men weie subjected to an ordeal which few veteran artillerists will
stand, that of receiving, without returning, an artillery fire. But
there was no flinching with these splendid fellows, and they kept
steadily to their work on the infantry until their concealment in the
brush enabled the King William boys to give tit for tat to the artil-
lerists in blue. But relief now came to Carter's men for a time at
least; the advance of our infantry drove Casey's men from the re-
doubt and the rifle pits, cut Couch's division in two, turned part of
it off to join Sumner and sent the other part streaming to the rear.
The fight began at one o'clock, and by three o'clock, my division,
without any assistance whatever, had captured Casey's camp and
earthworks, had taken ten pieces of artillery and two hundred pris-
oners, and had defeated or checked all the heavy reinforcements sent
to Casey, at least two divisions of succoring forces. And now, for
8 The Confederate Soldier in the Banks.
the first time, our exhausted men got help. The Palmetto Sharp-
shooters, of R. H. Anderson's brigade, Longstreet's division, under
Colonel Jenkins, came up. Some twenty minutes later R. H. Ander-
son reported to me with the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth South Caro-
lina regiments. Jenkins had gone to my extreme left, and there the
Twenty-seventh Georgia, of my division, was attached to his regi-
ment. Jenkins and Anderson fought their way through the abattis in
front of the second line of intrenchments to which the defeated had
retired, captured that line and joining their forces, held a brief con-
sultation. Anderson took the Fourth and Fifth South Carolina
regiments with him, and went off to the left to sweep down the rail-
road, giving Jenkins the Sixth South Carolina with orders to follow
up the dirt road. With these three regiments, Palmettos, Sixth
South Carolina and Twenty-seventh Georgia (1,800 men in all),
Jenkins began that march of victory, which has had but few parallels
in history. He had to fight Heintzleman's corps, minus Berry's
brigade, and such fragments of Key's corps as could be rallied.
The enemy was dazed, bewildered and demoralized by Casey's de-
feat, so that the reinforcements did not fight as well as Casey's
men had done. One of Casey's brigadiers said in his report, that
he had seen Heintzleman's men break when they had hardly felt the
Everything gave way before the three regiments and the masses
of the enemy were steadily driven to the intrenched camp. At
one time, Jenkins was confronted by a larger force than his own,
while columns of at ack were forming on each flank. He rushed
at the pas de charge upon those in front, broke them, and then facing
about, attacked in flank one of the columns flanking him and routed
it. The other column disappeared. The pursuit ceased with dark-
ness and Heintzleman boasted in his report that the Rebels got no
further than the woods in which he and Keyes had gathered together
i, 800 men. All the Federal reports speak of the overwhelming
numbers of the Rebels that came upon them and lament that they
had but 11,500 men to meet these fearful odds. Those words, " over-
whelming numbers," applied by the Federals to every lost field, are
most expressive. Johnny had a way of multiplying himself when
he was in a good fighting humor and then he appeared very nu-
merous ; and when he had anything like a chance he was a very
overwhelming sort of fellow.
All day Sunday and Sunday night General J. J. Peck, of the Fed-
eral army, had strong working parties strengthening the intrenched
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 9
camp and making it more secure for the eleven thousand five hundred
men who had sought refuge there. The success of the first day was
not followed up on the second day. The wounding of our illustrious
commander and other causes prevented an united attack upon Sum-
ner, which must have crushed him. There was no fighting the second
day to speak of except by Pickett, who started on his own accord
and stopped when he pleased, or after he had driven the enemy to
the brush, as he expressed it.
Seven Pines was not altogether a barren victory. It delayed
McClellan until Jackson was brought upon his flank. It gave a
splendid exhibition of dash and courage, and that had a most inspirit-
ing effect upon the subsequent campaign.
Longstreet's division lost five hundred men; mine, 2,992, out of
nine thousand men engaged. The Sixth Alabama and the Fourth
North Carolina lost sixty per cent, of the men brought into action.
Carter's battery lost fifty-nine per cent.
I was looking at the battery and was within ten yards of it, when
a shell exploded just before the muzzle of one of its pieces, and all
the men at it and the horses at the limber went down before it.
They seemed to me all huddled together "in one red burial
blent." An officer ran up and pulled out one live man from the
confused pile. Two men were killed, five wounded, and two horses
were killed by that one explosion. The wounded appeared, for
the time being, to be paralyzed, as only one was pulled out at
first. This was the most destructive shot I had ever seen up to that
time, but I afterwards saw one worse at Malvern Hill and one worse
at Sharpsburg. It was the enemy's artillery in all three cases that
was so deadly. This havoc in Carter's battery was in the pentago-
nal redoubt after its capture.
Two-thirds of the loss in Rodes's brigade was after Casey's works
had been taken and his division and Couch's had been driven off.
Berry's brigade, of Kearney's division, had been turned off into the
slashes when Carter's fire had made a direct advance impracticable.
There it was joined by one of Abercrombie's regiments, and possibly
by rallied fragments of the defeated divisions, and securely sheltered
behind large trees and heavy fallen timber, they kept up a murderous
fire upon Rodes's men in the open field, though the advance of An-
derson and Jenkins had cut them off from their comrades. These
Federals escaped after nightfall by taking a circuitous path through
the woods, round by Anderson's saw-mill.
It was said for a time that Casey was surprised and that his divi-
10 The Confederate Soldier in the Banks.
sion was defeated by a sudden rush of mine. His own report and
the reports of all his officers show that there was nothing of the
kind. He had been waiting for us for hours with his men and guns
in position. The sudden rush began at one o'clock, and Casey's
works were captured at three o'clock. It is a misnomer to call a
deadly struggle for two hours a sudden rush. It is unjust to my di-
vision, as well as to that opposing me, to say that Casey's men fought
badly. They fought better than the reinforcements sent to help them.
Fowler Hamilton, a jolly dragoon officer, was asked in the Mexican
war by some of the newly arrived troops, "Are the Mexicans brave ? "
" They are brave enough for me," replied he. Casey's men were
brave enough for me, and he himself was a veteran of approved cour-
age and conduct. He seems to have been one of the very last to
abandon his earthworks.
The battle of Seven Pines is a fine illustration of the prowess of
untrained, untutored and undisciplined Southern soldiers. The
great battles of Europe, in which veterans were engaged, show
a loss of from one-tenth to one-fourth of those engaged. At Seven
Pines our raw troops lost one-third of their number without flinching,
moving steadily on to victory. The true test of the loss in battle is
the number of casualties before the shouts of triumph rend the sky ;
for it has often happened that the chief loss of the defeated has been
from the murderous fire upon their disorganized, unresisting, and
huddled together masses. This has always been so when the defeat
has been the result of a flank movement, or when a brilliant cavalry
charge has followed up the rout.
But my theme deals with the individual private in the ranks and
I will therefore give some personal anecdotes, which I know to be
true, and are not sensational clap-trap for the occasion. After the
capture of Casey's camp, one of my staff went with a litter to
remove a private in the ranks, whom he had known at school.
"No," said the wounded man, "let me alone, Ratchford, I am
mortally wounded. Carry off some one who will live to fight for
his country another day." Then waving off his comrade with a
feeble effort of his poor, dying hand, he said, "Good-bye, Ratch-
ford," while the white lips parted in a farewell smile.
The world has wondered at and has praised for two hundred and
ninety-nine years the grand self-denial of the dying Sir Philip Sid-
ney, who gave the cup of water intended for himself to the wounded
soldier that was looking longingly at it and said, " Friend, thy wants
are greater than mine." The world has done well to preserve this
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 11
sublime instance of unselfishness, but it was an unselfishness born of
sympathy with present suffering appealing- to him. The unselfish-
ness of the Confederate was born of an abstract love of country
looking away from the present to the future weal of our dear South-
land. Who does not see that the self-denial of Private Addison
Jones, of the Fifth North Carolina regiment, was of a higher and
nobler type than the self-denial of the chivalric knight, the ideal hero
of song and of story ?
I will give some illustrations of an authentic character of the cool-
ness and self-possession of the private in the ranks. From Colonel
Sweitzer, of McClellan's Staff, I got under a flag of truce an anec-
dote of one of my couriers at Seven Pines. In carrying an order
from me through the woods, he came unexpectedly upon a regiment,
whose unifoim made him feel blue. However, he kept up a bold
front and asked: "What regiment is that?" "Seventh Massachu-
setts," was the reply. "All right," said the courier," the orders
are to hold your position at all hazards." Then he turned off into
the woods before the blue-coats recovered their surprise sufficiently
to give a harmless volley after him. I may not have right the name
of the Federal regiment, but by inquiry I found out that of the
courier ; for, modest as brave, he had not boasted of his adventure.
He was Hector Bowden, of Loudoun county, Virginia. Poor fel-
low ! his was a sad fate, for on a secret visit to his parents, he was
murdered by the Tories of Means's gang.
One other incident of the same kind. After the defeat of Porter
at Cold Harbor, and while his men were huddled together in a con-
fused mass in the woods after dark; they were told to encourage them,
that Richmond had been captured and forthwith began to cheer
vociferously. One of my couriers thinking that cheering could only
come from victors, rode in among them and was greeted with the
question: " Have we got Richmond ?" "Yes;" answered he, "we
have got Richmond," and escaped under cover of their shouts and
rejoicing. That courier was John Chamblin and Richmond has got
him, if he has not got Richmond.
An anecdote showing the kind of wit, which characterized the
rollicking, careless, undisciplined boys of 1861, may not be out of
place here. The story has been often told and many regiments have
been credited with it. But I know the very time and the very regi-
ment to which the anecdote belongs. At Yorktown, a colonel called
out his regiment, formed it in line and began to scold the men sav-
agely for some breach of discipline. In the midst of his vituperation
12 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
a donkey began an unmerciful bray, when a unanimous shout came
up from the impenitent and sorrowless gray-coats, " Hold on, Colo-
nel, one at a time, one at a time." There is a delicacy of insinuation
about this reply, which makes it unsurpassed and unsurpassable.
No! I was not that colonel, though I could tell of as grievous a mis-
hap to myself did not modesty forbid. I will tell rather of some
other glorious exploits of the ragged Rebels.
At Boonsboro, or South Mountain, my division, reduced to five
thousand men by battle, disease, hard marching and want of shoes,
was called upon to confront McClellan's army and to hold Turner's
Gap against two corps of that army, while two other corps were in
supporting distance. The immense wagon-yard and parks of reserve
artillery of Lee's whole army were at the foot of the mountain on
the west side. General Lee himself, with Longstreet's command,
was at Hagerstown, thirteen miles off. A thin curtain of men ex-
tending for miles along the crests of the mountains on that bright
Sabbath day in September, was all we had to check a vast, perfectly
organized and magnificently equipped army. There was nothing
else to save our trains and artillery; there was nothing else to pre-
vent McClellan from cutting in between Lee and Jackson; there was
nothing else to save Longstreet's corps from irretrievable ruin. That
thin curtain once broken, the enemy would have full possession of
all our supply trains and supplies — ordnance, commissary and
quartermaster stores; worse still, the two wings of Lee's army would
have been riven asunder, never to be reunited. But there were
giants in those days of 1862, and the haggard, weary, worn-out pri-
vate in the ranks was a hero in his own right, and capable of multi-
plying himself into overwhelming numbers. From 9 A. M. till 3^2
P. M. two brigades and three regiments held at bay Reno's corps
(said officially to be fifteen thousand strong), which attacked on our
right, moving on the old Braddock road. Then three very small
brigades of Longstreet's command, in an exhausted condition from
their hot and hurried march, came to our assistance. With their aid
the crests of the mountain and the road were held. Reno was killed
at nightfall in Wise's field, where the fight began in the morning, and
within fifty yards of where our beloved Garland fell.
But on our left a commanding hill was lost before sundown. All
the fighting before five o'clock was on our right, and the first rein-
forcements from Longstreet were turned off in that direction where
the enemy advanced very cautiously, because advancing in the woods
and constantly apprehensive of surprise from overwhelming num-
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 13
bers. In fact, the whole battle on the right and left was one of self-
imposed illusions on the part of the Federals. McClellan had come
into possession at Frederick of a copy of Lee's order directing Jackson
to attack Harpers Ferry, and Longstreet and myself to proceed to
Boonsboro. The copy found was the one directed to me, though I
must disclaim here, as ever before, that I was the loser of it. Accord-
ing to this order, Longstreet was at Boonsboro, and not Hagerstown,
on the morning of the 14th, and McClellan's people believed that the
whole mountain was swarming with Rebels.
It is a curious fact that the map of this battle, prepared by the
United States Bureau of Topographical Engineers in 1872, ten years
after the battle, represents ten regiments and one battalion under
Longstreet at the foot of the mountain, on the north side of turnpike
and east side of the mountain. This, on the morning of the 14th
September, before the fighting began. Longstreet did not have a
man there at any time, and not one any where on the mountain till
3^ P. M. I had forty men at the foot of the mountain on north
side of the pike alter three o'clock, but not a man before that time.
These forty men were under command of Captain R. E. Park, of
the Twelfth Alabama, now living in Macon, Georgia. To have pro-
duced the impression that there were ten regiments and one battalion
here, these forty men must have been uncommonly frisky, and they
must have multiplied themselves astonishingly, but unfortunately for
us, not in overwhelming numbers. Burnside tells us that he sent two
peremptory orders to Fighting Joe Hooker before he would move
forward his corps. From the foot of the mountain Fighting Joe
watched the magnificent advance of the divisions of Meade and
Hatch, followed by the division of Ricketts. The previous fighting
had drawn all our men, except Rodes's brigade, to the south side of
the pike, and it was posted on the commanding point of which I have
spoken. Meade took his division, with the true instincts of the soldier,
to the peak held by Rodes with 1,200 men. So resolutely was Meade
met that he sent for Duryea's brigade, of Ricketts's division. Long-
street's broken down men were still arriving, and four hundred under
Colonel Stevens went to the help of Rodes, and were in time to save
him from being surrounded, but their combined effort could not save
the peak, and the key of our position was lost. The steady advance
of the other Federal divisions drove back by nightfall the remainder
of Longstreet' s forces on the left of the pike to the very crest of the
mountain. But the pike itself was still held, and the effort of the
Federals to move up it met with a bloody repulse. So the retreat
14 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
was effected without difficulty and without pursuit. The trains and
artiilerv were saved, and the two wings of Lee's army were united
There had been much straggling of Longstreet's men on that hot
and dusty march from Hagerstown. Garnett estimates that in march-
ing and countermarching, his brigade passed over twenty two or
twenty-three miles. The reports are very meagre as to the numbers
that were brought into action at South Mountain. We must judge
of the whole from the few authentic estimates that are given. The
Seventeenth South Carolina reports 141 men in the fight; the First
South Carolina 106 men; the Seventeenth Virginia 55 officers and
men; the Nineteenth Virginia 150 men; the Eighteenth Virginia 120
men ; the Fiftieth Virginia 80 men ; the Eighth Virginia 34 men.
Longstreet admits now that his reinforcements did not exceed four
thousand men. I think that estimate very high. But admitting this
number, and that it was equally divided on the two sides of the pike,
then Fighting Joe Hooker was contending with fifteen thousand men
against 3,200 men, more than half of them in a broken down condi-
tion. However, his powerful field glass gave Fighting Joe a good
view of the battle, and he felt proud, as well he might, of the steady
and gallant advance of his three divisions. He says in his report:
"When the advantages of the enemy's position are considered and
his preponderating numbers, the forcing of the passage of South
Mountain will be classed among the most brilliant and satisfactory
achievements of this army, and its principal glory will be awarded to
the First Corps." The reader will please remember that the First
Corps was "Fighting Joe's" corps. However, I am thankful to
Fighting Joe for saying preponderating numbers, and not over-
The advantages of the position were with the attack, and not the
defence, as any practical soldier will say, who will carefully examine
General McClellan said officially: "The force opposed to me was
D. H. Hill's division (15,000 men), and a part, if not the whole of
Longstreet's, and, perhaps, a portion of Jackson's. Probably thirty-
thousand in all." It is always safe to give a divisor of three to any
estimate made by General McClellan of the forces of his enemy. The
Genefal puts his attacking force in the two corps at thirty thousand.
On the 14th September, 1862, I would have given that number a
multiplier of two. An attacking column is apt to take on the ap-
pearance of overwhelming numbers.
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 15
South Mountain was heralded abroad by our antagonists as a
great viclory. Favors, of that sort bad been few and far between, and
this seemed to call for special gratulation and congratulation. Mr.
Lincoln telegraphed the next day to General McClellan: "God bless
you and all with you. Destroy the Rebel army, if possible. ' ' This is
a model dispatch, and is a beautiful illustration of the meaning of St.
James in the tenth verse of the third chapter of his epistle, which
you can read when you go home.
But Sharpsburg affords, as I think, the best illustration of the
pluck, dash and stubborn fighting of the privates in the ranks. Lee's
army was never so small. It had fought McClellan from Richmond
to Harrison's Landing on James River. It had fought Pope from the
Rappahannock to the Potomac. It had given a new experience to
this young warrior, who, like Lockinvar had come gaily out of the
West and had only seen the backs of his enemies, and had there
learned to scorn all thoughts of lines of retreat. I suspect that the
young man did not pet sonally gain any more knowledge in the East
than he had done in the West about the faces of his foes, but the
people he had about him did see those faces, and before he vanished
amid the storm he left behind him this military maxim " for a line
of retreat, the short cut is the safe cut."
The campaigns against McClellan and Pope had greatly reduced
Lee's army. The order issued on crossing the Potomac excusing
all barefooted men from marching had reduced it still more. So, at
Sharpsburg, General Lee had only the hardiest, strongest and bravest
of his Rebel boys, The straggling had been enormous. The chaff
had been blown off and only the sOund, solid wheat had been left.
General McClellan estimates Lee's army at Sharpsburg at 97,445.
These numbers, he says, he got from General Banks, who had them
from " prisoners, deserters and spies." The precision of this calcula-
tion strikes me as most admirable, 97,445, no more, no less. It was
not a guess. Oh, no ! General Lee's guess of the strength of his
own army would have fallen short of this by more than 6o,ooo. No,
it was not a guess. It was obtained from " prisoners, deserters and
spies." These generally count in round numbers, but on this occa-
sion were minutely accurate. Why not 97,000 dry so? Why not
97,400? Why not 97,440? Who figured out the last five? I
surmise that "the intelligent contraband" is responsible for this as-
tonishing precision. The added five helped to swell up " the over-
whelming numbers." It could not, would not, should not be omitted.
General McClellan puts his own forces ; t 87,164. He, too, must
16 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
have been troubled with enormous straggling-. For we find on page
98, Volume XIII, Records of the Rebellion, a statement from Quar-
termaster-General Rufus Ingalls, that he had furnished transportation
for 190,185 officers and men of McClellan's army. This statement
was made on the 1st day of October, 1862, fourteen days after the
battle of Sharpsburg and the wastage of that battle is not in the
estimate. If we put McClellan's casualties at 12,000 in the battle,
he must have had 202, 185 on his rolls on the morning of Sharpsburg.
For the same record shows a complaint from him that he had not re-
ceived any reinforcements after the battle. If then there were but
87,164 at Sharpsburg, there were 105,021 elsewhere.
I have always contended that Genera] Lee had less than 27,000
infantry and artillery in the battle of Sharpsburg. He crossed the
Potomac with nine divisions. As mine had not been in the Pope
campaign and had therefore suffered less than the other eight from
battle, disease and fatigue, I supposed it to be one of the very
largest, and yet it had but little over 3,000 men in it at Sharpsburg.
As nine times 3,000 gives 27,000, I thought that 27,000 was the
maximum number in Lee's army. Dr. Dabney. a very careful
statistician, puts Lee's strength at 33,000 including the cavalry.
My estimate, which I have had to reduce, was of infantry and
On page 813 of this Volume XIII, I find Lee's losses in killed and
wounded in the Maryland campaign to have been 10,291, of which,
my division is credited with 2,902 or 28.19 per cent, of the whole.
It is not reasonable to suppose that this division should sustain more
than one-fourth of the entire loss of the army, if its strength was
not greater than one-ninth of the whole. It is true that the loss at
South Mountain fell largely upon my division, but the loss there was
probably as great in prisoners as in killed and wounded, and the
10,291 loss is in killed and wounded only. So I had two reasons
.for believing that my division was the largest of the nine at Sharps-
burg, and that therefore Lee's infantry and artillery did not come up
But the result can be reached in other ways, for though the reports
are most meagre on the Southern side, we still have data enough to
make an estimate different from that of the prisoners, deserters and
spies, whom General Banks saw.
General Lee crossed the Potomac with nine divisions, forty brigades,
one hundred and sixty-six regiments and nine battalions of infantry.
Three divisions were made out of two, so that at Sharpsburg, he had
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. IV
ten divisions without having more brigades and regiments. We
have reports from five of these divisions:
Early's division, 4 brigades, 3,500 men; D. R. Jones's division,
6 brigades, 2,430 men; A. P. Hill's division, 6 brigades, 3,524 men;
McLaws's division, 5 brigades, 2,832 men; D. H. Hill's division, 5
brigades, 3,008 men; total, 15,294 men.
From this number in twenty-six brigades of the forty in Lee's
army, the single rule of three will give us 23,523 men as Lee's
strength in infantry and artillery at the battle of Sharpsburg. This
is, of course, on the supposition that the ratio in the twenty-six
brigades was the same for the other twenty-four. Let us examine
this by the light from the reports of the brigades themselves, so far
as they are given:
Robert Ransom's, 1,600; Lawton's, 1,150; Wofford's, 854; Rodes's,
800; Barksdale, 800; Walker, 700; Trimble, 700; Hays, 550; Pfen-
ning, 400; Cobb, 250; Stonewall, 250; Evans, 209; Kemper, 350;
Garnett, 200; total, 8,813.
The single rule of three gives the strength of the forty brigades on
the ratio of these fourteen, to be 25,180. So the approximate re-
sults reached from the reports of division and brigade commanders
differ only by 1,557 men.
Now let us see what estimate we can get from the reports of regi-
mental commanders, so far as given in this same Volume XIII. We
Eleventh Georgia regiment, 140; Eighteenth Georgia regiment, 176;
Fifty-third Georgia regiment, 276; Fiftieth Georgia regiment, 100;
Tenth Georgia regiment, 134; Second and Twentieth Georgia regi-
ments, 400; First Texas regiment, 226; Sixteenth Mississippi regiment,
228; First South Carolina regiment, 106; Seventh South Carolina regi-
ment, 268; Seventeenth South Carolina regiment, 59; Hampton Le-
gion, 77; Nineteenth Virginia regiment, 150; Eighteenth Virginia
regiment, 120; Fifty-sixth Virginia regiment, 80; Seventeenth Vir-
ginia regiment, 55; Eighth Virginia regiment, 34 — total, 2,629.
General Lee had one hundred and sixty-six regiments, and nine
battalions of infantry at Sharpsburg, say in round numbers, one hun-
dred and seventy regiments of infantry. From the ratio of the
eighteen regiments just given, we have for the whole one hundred
and seventy regiments, 24,829. This differs from the estimate by
brigades only by two hundred and fifty-one men. If we put our
artillery at two thousand, we will have Lee's strength at Sharpsburg
about 27,000. This estimate has been arrived at by four independent
18 The Confederate Soldier in the Banks.
calculations — ist. The strength and loss in my own division; 2d.
The strength of the five divisions reported; 3d. The strength of
fourteen brigades, including largest and smallest ; 4th. The strength
of eighteen regiments, including largest and smallest. Taking Gen-
eral McClellan's own estimate of his forces, 87,164, the boys in gray
were outnumbered by sixty thousand. Not one of you who were on
that terrible field will think even now, when calmly reviewing the
awful scenes of that bloody day, that the odds against us was less
than three to one. Who did not see again and again a thin Rebel
line, scarcely a skirmish line, attack three heavy lines of battle with
the utmost confidence, and come back again looking puzzled because
the other fellows did not run? I will attempt no description of the
wonderful deeds of valor performed by the hungry, ragged and
broken down Rebels. Your own Patrick Henry could not do justice
to it; my poor, stammering tongue would fall infinitely short of it. I
have seen a plucky little bee-martin hover over, swoop down upon
and peck at the ferocious hawk, and I have seen the grotesque
movements of the great hulking bird to avoid the tiny beak of its
tormentor. These old eyes of mine have watched that battle in the
air, and these old eyes of mine looked upon the battle by the An-
It is to the glory of Virginia that more than one fourth of the in-
fantry regiments, and about one-fourth of batteries actually engaged
at Sharpsburg belonged to the Old Dominion. The best handling of
artillery which I saw during the war was there, always excepting the
King William battery at Seven Pines. That irrepressible and
ubiquitous battery was at Sharpsburg also. I said in my official re-
port, and I have said hundreds of time since, that this battery con-
tributed largely to the defeat of Burnside's attack on our right and
What shall I say of that wonderful campaign from the Wilderness
to Petersburg, in which Lee's army killed and wounded more of their
♦memies than they had men in their own ranks ? What shall I say of the
ten months in the trenches, under a constant rain of shot and shell, en-
dured by these privates in the ranks half fed, half clothed, destitute of
all the usual appliances for a defensive siege ; stifled at one time with
heat and at another frozen with cold; fighting against ever- increasing
odds — three times, five times, ten times, twenty times their own num-
ber — confronting in their want and misery the sleek soldiers of the
most pampered army on the globe, luxurious in its comforts, magni-
ficent in its appointments, and invincible in its serried masses ? But
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 19
those, our Confederates in the ranks fought on, suffered on, endured
on, with no expectation of promotion or preferment ; with no hope of
ultimate success, each knowing surely that the end must be, at best,
life and unrecognized prowess ; at worst, death and an unknown grave.
We "talk of the sufferings at Valley Forge, and the American people
should hold them in everlasting remembrance. But what were the suf-
ferings of Washington's men in comparison with the sufferings of
Lee's men ? Yes, I feel that it is presumptuous in me to try to eulogize
with words these martyrs without hope of reward or success — the
Confederate soldiers in the ranks ; but I yield to no man in my love,
respect, and reverence for them.
And what shall be said of those unselfish patriots who were true to
their colors to the last, when f>e ravages of armies had desolated
their country, and the torches of bummers had left blackened chimneys
as monuments over the buried treasures of a husband's and father's
love? How can we sufficiently honor these men, who, knowing that
their families, without food and without shelter, were starving to
death or were living on the offal of the enemy's camps, who, know-
ing even this, yet still answered to roll call, yet still filled their places
in the ranks, yet still faced death again and again, putting duty to
country above duty to wife and children? Aye, how many of these
poured out their heart's blood in that last despairing struggle, leaving
those they loved more than life to the cold charities of a forgetful
world ? Hard must be the heart of that foeman which does not warm
with a generous glow at this simple tale of sublime devotion to
principle. And how should this story affect us, their comrades in
danger and their partners in the same buoyant hopes and the same
deep despair? May my arm be palsied by my side when it ceases to
hold up the banner inscribed all over with their glorious deeds. May
my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth when it ceases to pro-
nounce the praises of such matchless courage, unrivalled fortitude,
and unselfish patriotism. /V
God bless the privates in the ranks now and forevermore !
Having an unwavering faith in the wisdom, justice, and mercy of
God, I bow with adoring reverence to his decree which destroyed our
hopes of Southern independence. I would not reverse His decree if I
could do so. That would be wicked and presumptuous. All honorable
Confederates render the truest allegiance to the obligations imposed
upom them by the surrender. I believe that the most uncompro-
mising rebels, yea, the bitterest rebels, if you choose to call them so,
would be the very first to rally round the old flag in any just and hon
20 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
orable war. They have expressed the sincerest sympathy with the
sufferings and misfortunes of illustrious foemen. They have rejoiced
at the brilliant successes of many of their late antagonists, and they
have contributed to those successes. But no generous conqueror
wishes the conquered to forget their old ties and their old loves. " No
generous conqueror wishes us to disparage the grand heroism and
the unparalleled constancy of the Confederates in the ranks. No
generous conqueror expects us to underrate the ability of our great
leaders because they were defeated, and unfairly fail to take into con-
sideration that their defeat was due to overwhelming numbers. Every
schoolboy knows of Thermopylae, and of Leonidas, defeated and
slain ; but who of you can tell the name of the victorious Persian
commander of the Dori-Phori, who attacked him in front? Who of
you remembers the name of the commander ot the so-called Immortal
Band which, having gone through a secret defile, attacked him suc-
cessfully in rear ?
The historian of the present looks only at victory and defeat. The
historian of the past looks at all the surroundings. But even now we
of the present, who have seen the great movements of our wonderful
leaders, can look at those surroundings. Every one with Southern
blood in his veins places in the front rank of the world's great com-
manders, the two modest men who sleep so quietly and so unostenta-
tiously at Lexington, Virginia. Every one with Southern blood in
his veins cherishes in his inmost soul the memory of their great deeds
as a precious legacy to the land they loved so well.
General Hill was vociferously applauded as he took his seat, and
was warmly congratulated on his speech.
General Early was loudly called for, but excused himself from
responding, except to remind his friend, General Hill, that the Fed-
eral estimate of the Confederate strength at Sharpsburg was made
by General Banks, who always saw the " rebels " through a pow-
erful magnifying glass whenever " Stonewall" Jackson was about.
In response to calls, General W. B. Taliaferro made a brief and
stirring speech, which was loudly applauded.
The officers of last year insisted upon a change, and a committee
consisting of Captain C. A. Bohannon, General William McComb,
and N. V. Randolph reported the following who were unanimously
For President: Major- General William B. Taliaferro.
Vice-Presidents : Major-General William Smith, Colonel Char/es
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 21
Marshall, Colonel James H. Skinner, Captain P. W. McKinney,
Brigadier-General Thomas T. Munford.
Executive Committee : Colonel William H. Palmer, Colonel
Archer Anderson, Sergeant George L. Christian, Major T. A.
Brander, Sergeant John S. Ellett.
Treasurer : Private R. S. Bosher.
Secretary : Private Carlton McCarthy.
General W. H. F. Lee, the retiring president, was heartily thanked
for the ability with which he had presided and the energy he had
displayed in the management of the affairs of the Association.
On motion of General Early. Misses Mary and Mildred Lee, Mrs.
Thomas J. Jackson and her daughter, and Mrs. J. E. B. Stuart and
her daughter were unanimously and enthusiastically elected honorary
members of the Association, and the Secretary was directed to send
After the exercises in the hall the Association and the invited
guests repaired to Saenger Hall, where an elegant banquet was
spread and the good things heartily enjoyed.
General Taliaferro presided, and Judge George L. Christian acted
as toast-master and read the toasts. The regular toasts and the res-
pondents were as follows :
The Infantry :
If ever a band of warriors won
A paean for deeds of valor clone,
They deserve, indeed, the glorious meed
And the proud triumphal hymn.
General William McComb.
As went the knight with sword and shield
To tournay or to battle-field,
They offered at their country's call
Their lives, their fortunes, and their all.
General T. T. Munford.
The Artillery : The voice from the mouths of their pieces sent
dismay into the ranks of the enemy.
Judge William I. Clopton.
22 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
The Staff of Our Armies : The nerves which contributed to the
genius of our great commanders, and through which their inspira-
tion was conducted to their troops.
Colonel Archer Anderson.
The Armies of the West : The heroes of Corinth, Chickamauga,
and Mobile are worthy comrades of those of Manassas, Gettysburg,
and the Wilderness, and will ever greet each other as brethren.
General D. H. Maury.
The Women of the South :
" Land of heroes, your endurance through the strife transcendent shines ;
Born of sunlight, 'mid the tempest stood ye hrm as mountain pines."
Dr. Thomas J. Moore.
The Dead :
" Their dust sleeps well in the land of their choice,
Their names in song and story ;
And fame shall shout with immortal voice,
Dead on the field of glory."
Hon. D. B. Lucas, of Jefferson county, West Virginia, whose
exquisite poem, "The Land Where we were Dreaming," has
touched so many hearts, responded to the last toast in a speech
which elicited loud applause. There has been so strong a demand
for its publication that we are glad to give it in full.
SPEECH OF HON. D. B. LUCAS.
In responding to the sentiment now proposed to the memory of
the dead of the Army of Northern Virginia, I feel and appreciate
both the difficulty and the sacred character of the melancholy duty
which has been assigned me.
What can I say which shall exaggerate the debt of gratitude or
lighten the burden of regret which we owe to the brave soldiers who,
by their courage, illumined the most brilliant page of military his-
tory, and by their unselfish devotion sanctified the sternest lessons
of civil and institutional disaster ?
The formation of this Association was but the outgrowth of a sense
of duty to the sentiments which cluster around our dead.
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 23
To preserve in some permanent form the original and authentic
evidence of what these men achieved was a high and sacred duty
which we owed not to them only, but to ourselves and to our
For no more melancholy sight can meet the eye of the patriot than
to see a teacher in our public schools engaged in teaching the child-
ren of these dumb and silent martyrs that their fathers died under
some manner of cloud, or that they needed some sort of pardon,
other than the free grace of the everlasting God whom they served.
Neither can there be any moral or national necessity that the first
axiom of mathematics, which is that the sum of all the parts is only
equal to, and cannot exceed, the whole, should be untaught in the
vain effort to prove that when an aggregate of twenty- seven hundred
thousand Federal soldiers engaged six hundred thousand Confed-
erates, the latter in every separate engagement, from Manassas to
the Wilderness, outnumbered their Federal antagonists.
No; thank God, the first duty which we owe to these dead heroes
is the same which we owe to truth. The simplest form of annals,
unadorned by political disquisition, as unwarped as mathematics and
impartial as a sun-dial, would embody all that we should need to
excite our just pride in their almost superhuman achievements; all
that our children need to keep alive the flame of patriotism or the
love of glory. They do not need any depreciation of their adver-
saries, nor, as Chief-Justice Chase expressed it, any detraction from
"the heroism of our countrymen who fell upon the other side."
This unreasonable, not to say unholy sentiment, that to do justice to
one side implies detraction from the other, should be given over to
the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals with which we amuse our-
selves in political harangues or popular assemblies. But here, as it
were in the presence of our dead, we can do most honor to them,
while at the same time we do full justice to the motives and courage
of those who confronted them.
We can divest ourselves of every suspicion of clap-trap, and, stand-
ing face to face with our dead, say, in all clearness of conscience, that
having accepted the umpirage of the sword we have also accepted
its award, and mean to abide by it. This much for the outcome or
But may God do so to us and more, if ever we fail when occasion
demands the expression of conviction, to assert the simple truth, that
these dear, darling dead were right ; that on the plane of clear rea-
24 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
son, they were most sternly logical ; that as patriots, they had no
superiors ; and as soldiers, they have had no equals.
This is our conviction, that these men ventured all for self-govern-
ment and died in a righteous and holy cause.
Now, as for their achievements. They were matched against as
brave soldiers as the world had produced, in love with a sentiment —
the Union. They were outnumbered in the aggregate as six to
twenty seven, or more than four to one. In population, their section
(excluding slaves) was as seven to twenty two, or less than one to
three. And yet they carried on the points of their bayonets their
cause for four long years, and in the end yielded to famine and an
exhausted treasury, rather than to military necessity.
We cannot evade history. We may for a time startle her from her
propriety, but she will in the end regain her equipoise.
I have already remarked upon the absurd paradox presented in
our school histories, namely, that while in the aggregate the Federal
army numbered over twenty-seven hundred thousand and the Con-
federate but a little over six hundred thousand, yet, in the separate
decisive battles of the war, the forces engaged were nearly equal.
What surpassing generalship ! What matchless strategic skill,
which, with an average disparity of more than four to one, yet,
on every critical plain, could oppose an equal number to their adver-
saries ! But we can not suffer the prowess of these private soldiers,
so justly extolled to-night by one of their most brilliant captains, to
be disparaged, even to increase the fame of their immortal leaders.
Let the plain story be told, though our Peter Parley histories and
Mother Goose biographies should have to be relegated to the regions
of romance where they rightfully belong. Let us frankly acknowl-
edge that from first to last, on every important field from Manassas
to Appomattox, the Army of the Potomac, composed of brave,
enthusiastic, and well-equipped soldiers, outnumbered the Army of
Northern Virginia by an average of more than two to one ; that for
the first two years, the latter were mainly armed and clothed by cap-
tures from the opposing forces ; that they never hesitated when
ordered to attack a superior force and seldom failed to gain the
advantage ; that they took more prisoners than they lost by capture ;
that they killed more than they lost in battle, and that in one
important campaign they destroyed more of the enemy by ten
thousand than the actual count of their own whole army.
I have compiled a table founded on the most reliable authorities
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
exhibiting the comparative numbers and losses of the Army of the
Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia in the more important
engagements of the last two years of the war :
Richmond — Seven Days
These figures are monumental. They constitute a monument to
the Army of Northern Virginia as much superior to brass or stone
as spirit is to matter or reason is to sense.
Yet, while these figures are conceded, their significance is met and
their force evaded by an assumption that these soldiers lacked endu-
rance and fortitude and a contrast is attempted to be drawn between
their brilliant dash and the more steady and enduring valor of the
If this charge — a lack of fortitude — could be sustained, it would
detract much from the character of the Southern soldier, for, as
Napoleon said : " The first qualification of a soldier is fortitude
under fatigue and privation ; courage is only the second."
Let us submit this question to the test of admitted facts, and see if
the charge be just. Let us take the matter of equipment. Let us
compare that of General McClellan before Richmond with that of
General Johnston in the Summer of 1862. The Prince de Joinville,
who accompanied McClellan, says that " But for the lack of women,
their army might have been mistaken for an armed emigration,
rather than a march of soldiers," so thorough and elaborate was the
equipment. The Confederates, on the other hand, had soiled and
26 The Confederate Soldier in the Banks.
ragged uniforms, worn-out shoes, dilapidated tents, old-fashioned
arms, and scanty fare. Yet this same ragged, illy-equipped army,
without any new sources of supply or recruitment held on for two
years longer, defeating Pope at Cedar Mountain and Second Manas-
sas, driving back Burnside at Fredericksburg, routing Hooker at
Chancellorsville, and, finally, when reduced to fifty-nine thousand,
hurling themselves with incredible valor against a newly equipped
army of one hundred and one thousand on the heights of Gettysburg.
If these achievements did not require and avouch the power to bear
fatigue and privation, then must we acknowledge that the Army of
Northern Virginia lacked fortitude and was not equal to the Napo-
leonic test already quoted. If, on the other hand, these undisputed
facts are to be given their full force and significance, let us do the
Great Army justice and say that they lacked nothing which is re-
quisite to the true soldier : discipline, enthusiasm, love of country,
courage, and fortitude under privation in the highest degree were all
Take again the career of Stonewall Jackson's command in the
same summer of 1862, as an illustration of the endurance of the
Army of Northern Virginia in encountering fatigue. Let us com-
mence at Kernstown. At this point Jackson attacked seven thousand
with twenty-seven hundred, and desired to court-martial General
Garnett, who held the center, for retreating before four times his
number, after his ammunition was exhausted.
Afterwards, in the next forty days, with an average force of fifteen
thousand men, he amused himself (as the Prince de Joinville ex-
presses it) by baffling and in four pitched battles, defeating as many
successive generals; he marched his troops four hundred miles, cap-
tured thirty-five hundred prisoners of war, together with vast mili-
tary stores and supplies, and kept employed against him, paralyzing
in and around Washington, eighty thousand men.
In advance and retreat he double-quicked the soldiers of the
Shenandoah Valley through their native villages, amid waving of
handkerchiefs and salutations of wives, children, sisters, and sweet-
hearts without breaking ranks.
These men were called "Jackson's foot-cavalry" because one
soldier covered as much ground and bore as much fatigue as is ordi-
narily demanded of a soldier and a horse. They were the Centaurs
of modern warfare.
After the campaign in the Valley these same men left Mount
Meridian, which is not far from Staunton, on the 17th of June, 1862,
The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks. 27
and marched direct to Richmond, engaging in the battle at Mechan-
icsville on the 26th, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, and
without taking time to rest or recruit, except on the intervening
Sabbath, which was spent in rest and worship.
But why do I recount these instances of fortitude and endurance
on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia before men, many of
whom were participants in these heroic struggles, and all of whom
are familiar with their history ?
Not only did the Army of Northern Virginia excel in that highest
attribute of a soldier, fortitude, but their love of country was unsur-
passed. For the last two years of the war they served, practically,
without pay. Nominally the private soldier received thirteen dollars
per month, but it was paid in Confederate currency. I have made a
careful estimate of the value of these wages, reduced to the gold
standard for the forty- eight months of the war, and I find that the
average pay of the Confederate soldier, reduced to gold, was less than
thirty-five cents per month.
No hirelings these, but patriots, whose services were inspired only
by a sense of duty, and rewarded only by the gratitude of their coun-
Of the military leaders, our dead officers who commanded these
men, I cannot consume your time to speak. They came from every
Southern State, and now sleep in the bosom of Virginia — Lee and
Jackson, and Bee, and Pelham, and Winder, and Whiting, and Wheat,
and many others now imperishably linked in fame with the story of
the Great Struggle.
Napoleon, though great in victory, did not bear irredeemable de-
feat with the fortitude which the world had a right to expect ; while
Washington, being victorious, left his composure in final disaster only
to be conjectured from his magnanimity in ultimate success. But
General Lee demonstrated by the reluctance with which he took up
arms, and the brilliancy with which he bore them ; by his moderation
in victory and the unsurpassed nobility of his bearing in defeat; by
his great achievements in war and his dignified devotion to the most
ennobling arts of peace, that he possessed all the rare elements of
moral and intellectual greatness, which, by their combination, con-
spire to form the noblest specimens of our race —
"A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man ! "
28 The Confederate Soldier in the Ranks.
When General Lee announced to the Army of Northern Virginia
the death of General Jackson, he hit upon the two great qualities of
the soldier which distinguished, with most peculiar emphasis, the
dead captain — courage and confidence in God. "We feel," said
General Lee, " that his spirit still lives, and will inspire the whole
army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God,
as our hope and strength."
" A great captain," said Napoleon, "supplies all deficiencies by
his courage." It was this courageous self-confidence, inspired by a
higher confidence in God, which distinguished General Jackson.
But he was not more self-confident than modest. It is related that
when General Lee's note of condolence, telling him that for the good
of the country he had preferred being wounded himself was read to
him, he exclaimed, " Better ten Jacksons than one Lee!"
Thus did these two great compeers vie in modesty, and unselfish
admiration, each of the other. Two twin giants, to whom Virginia,
a second Ilia, pregnant by Mars, had given birth; and who, though
they failed to found an Empire, as did Romulus and Remus, will yet
shine like Castor and Pollux as bright constellations in the firma-
ment of history; but with this difference, that while the Sons of Ledd
illumine the sky but one at a time, our Twins, sons of Virginia, trans-
fixed, shining together, shall cosparkle in one equal splendor through-
out all coming ages. These dead — these darling dead — they have
not died in vain!
Not in vain, my countrymen, their courage and achievement; not
in vain their highest virtue of fatigue-enduring fortitude; not in vain
their unbought and unpaid services in the field; not in vain did the
fathers die unbountied, as their children live unpensioned; not in vain
did they walk through the tragedy of war, or do they now lie down
in the dull pantomine of death; their deeds were not in vain, be-
cause we who survive shall teach them to our children, and thus pre-
serve a heroic race of men capable of such self sacrifices as these
men made, and equal to such heroism as may serve, when lapsed
from virtue, "to recall us to ourselves, and join us to the eternal
Association of the Army of Northern Virginia,
For Sale at the Annexed Prices.
Association Army of Northern Virginia Badges, Enamel and
Gilt, Ribbon, &c, - - - - - $200
Membership Certificates (for members only), - - 1 00
The Memorial Volume of the Army of Northern Virginia,
containing the Annual Addresses, as follows :
1873. Col. C. S. Venable, Wilderness to Cold Harbor.
1874. Col. Charles Marshall, on the Strategic Value of Rich-
1875. Major John W. Daniel, on Gettysburg.
1876. Capt, W. Gordon McCabe, on the " Defence of Peters-
1877. Private Leigh Robinson, on " The Wilderness."
1878. Col. William Allan, on Jackson's Valley Campaign,
1879. General Fitzhugh Lee, on Chancellorsville.
Price of the Volume, - - - 2 00
Also the Adresses of —
1 88 1. Col. Archer Anderson, on " The Campaign and Battle
of Ghickamauga," .... # ^
1883. Hon. Alfred M. Scales, on The Battle of Fredericksburg, .25
1885. General Bradley T. Johnson, on the First Maryland
Campaign, - - - - - .50
1885. General D. H. Hill, on the Confederate Soldier in the
Ranks, - - - .50
The Addresses of 1877, by Robinson, and 1878, by Col. Allan,
may also be had separately at 50 cents each. Address :
CARLTON MCCARTHY, See'y,
511 N. Fifth St., Richmond, Va.
LIFE AND CAMPAIGNS
Major-Generil J. E. B. Stuart,
Commander of the Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia.
H. B. McCLELLAN, A. M.,
Late Major, A. A. General and Chief of Staff of the Cavalry Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia.
The work will be an 8vo volume of about 400 pages, with seven
maps, prepared especially for it. Bound in cloth.
The book will be ready in November, or sooner. Mailed free on
receipt of $3.00 in advance.
A few copies can be had bound handsomely in half calf or half
Morocco at $5.50. Address
511 N. Fifth St., Richmond, Va.
UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL
FOR USE ONLY IN
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION